`NO MAS’ FIGHT SHOWED EVERY FIGHTER HARBORS A FEAR OF SOMETHING

duran-leonard

So many fighters say the same thing. “I’m ready to die if necessary,” they publicly pronounce, and some might even believe it. But while bravery is as much of a staple of winning boxing as talent, answering the bell against even the most fearsome puncher is not the same as a soldier charging a machine-gun nest or engaging in hand-to-hand combat with an enemy who is actually trying to end his life, not just knock him out. A fighter’s fortitude and strength of character certainly are tested in the ring, but all the convenient comparisons to war go way too far. Boxing is a sport, and not one for the faint of heart, but it is never a matter of kill-or-be-killed. At least it shouldn’t be.

The truth is every fighter – probably every human being, for that matter – is afraid of something. The seemingly meekest individual is capable of extraordinary heroism, given the proper circumstances, and the most blustery bully can be exposed as a paper tiger if confronted by someone made of sterner stuff. The only thing that holds true in either case is the observers who stand off to the side critiquing the actions of the actually involved as being courageous or cowardly. And once the more odious label is applied, it can be extremely difficult to scrape off.

There might never have been a boxing match to fuel as much armchair psychoanalysis as the second of the three bouts that pitted Panamanian tough guy Roberto Duran against flashy American Sugar Ray Leonard. Nov. 25 marks the 35th anniversary of that curious bout in the Louisiana Superdome, in which Duran, who had been widely perceived as the fight game’s most implacable and relentless destroyer, abruptly threw up his hands late in the eighth round, muttered something to Mexican referee Octavio Meyran and began to walk away. It was a blatant act of surrender by the one man from whom no one would ever have expected it.

The bout soon came to be known, rather notoriously, as the “No Mas Fight,” a reference to the words in Spanish Duran supposedly had said to Meyran, which meant “No more,” although Duran to this day steadfastly insists he never said any such thing.

A disgraced Duran went home to find his palatial home vandalized, his most ardent fans holding him in contempt and the Panamanian government, which had assured him he would get to keep all $8 million of his purse because of his status as a “national hero,” now disposed to nullify that exemption and take $2 million off the top in taxes.

Fortunately, for the “Hands of Stone,” his legacy has been largely restored. He went on to fight 21 more years after “No Mas,” winning another two world championships along the way, and, who knows, he might still be fighting today, at 64, had he not been forced to retire after being in a bad car accident in October 2001, when he was 50. Several historians today rate him higher on various all-time pound-for-pound lists than Leonard, who lost their first fight (which was terrific) on a close but unanimous decision before Sugar Ray won parts two and three of the trilogy.

“In New Orleans, Duran became the story,” Leonard said of the “No Mas” fight that, even in victory, didn’t turn out the way he had anticipated. “All everyone talked about was him quitting. He got more attention for quitting than I did for winning the fight.”

There have been, of course, other fights – major ones, too – in which one of the principals quit, if only in a manner of speaking, rather than allowing himself to be knocked out or his humiliation to be extended to the final bell. But it is “No Mas” that has become a case study of the swirling emotions that can engulf even a great fighter when he finds himself in a place where bravado cannot rescue him from a dark place he never expected to be thrust into.

At the press conference to officially announce Duran-Leonard II, Duran dismissed Leonard and brashly predicted he would beat him much worse than he had in their first bout, which took place in Montreal five months earlier.

“I don’t like to see clowns in the ring,” he sneered with undisguised contempt. “I like to see boxers. To fight and beat me, you have to come into the ring and fight me, hard. (Leonard) goes into the ring and tries to imitate (Muhammad) Ali, but an imitator is a loser.”

Leonard imitated Ali all right, and pretty damn effectively, the most obvious example coming in the seventh round, when Sugar Ray wound up his right hand in windmill fashion, as if he was going to throw a bolo punch, before delivering a stinging left jab to Duran’s nose, causing the WBC welterweight champion’s eyes to water.

William Nack, writing in Sports Illustrated, described that moment as “the most painful blow of Duran’s life. It drew hooting laughter from the crowd and made Duran a public spectacle – a laughingstock.”

Perhaps ironically, Duran – who was not in the same tip-top shape he had been for the first fight with Leonard, having had to take off anywhere from 40 to 70 pounds in a relatively short time, depending on which version of the tale you choose to believe – believed that by simply walking away he was putting himself in a better light than if he had continued to be the target of Sugar Ray’s largely successful attempts to embarrass him.

“In Duran’s mind I think he expected that the crowd would condemn Leonard for having made a mockery of the fight, rather than him for quitting,” said veteran trainer Emanuel Steward, who was in the Superdome with his fighter, WBA welterweight titlist Thomas Hearns, to agitate for a unification showdown with the winner.

It was an egregious miscalculation.

“He quit out of humiliation and frustration,” Leonard told the late George Kimball, author of “Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing.” “It’s one of those things that happens to bullies. Duran threw his hands up without realizing the repercussions it would have on his legacy.”

Not surprisingly, Duran’s people quickly put up a smokescreen in which they blamed their guy’s disappointing performance, and eventual surrender, on stomach cramps and an injured right shoulder more than on Leonard’s superior foot and hand speed.

“If Duran had stomach cramps,” wrote Al Goldstein, the boxing writer for the Baltimore Sun, “it must have been his guts shrinking.”

Ed Schuyler Jr. of The Associated Press, cracking wise to his colleagues in the press room, said, “They’re checking Duran’s birth certificate back in Panama. They think now he may be a Guatemalan.”

To appreciate and understand the furor attendant to “No Mas,” it is necessary to go back to their first encounter, on June 20, 1980, at Montreal’s Stade Olympique, in the same city in which Leonard was the breakout, gold-medal-winning star of the Olympic boxing competition.

Perhaps Duran’s resentment of Leonard went from slow boil to volcanic eruption when it became apparent that he and his team had been snookered at the negotiating table by the Sugar man and his savvy attorney/adviser, Mike Trainer. Trainer had arranged for Leonard to receive the entire site fee and 80 percent of the closed-circuit and foreign TV sales, which wound up being nearly $10 million, by far eclipsing the previous high payday for a fighter, which was the $6.5 million Ali got for his third bout with Ken Norton. Duran, meanwhile, had signed quickly for $1.65 million, which was his biggest purse to that point but so much less than he might have received had he sought a more equitable division of the financial pie.

In any case, this was a fight in which it was virtually impossible to sit on the fence.

“The casting is perfect,” said Angelo Dundee, Leonard’s chief second. “You have Sugar Ray, the kid next door, the guy in the white hat, against Duran, the killer, the guy with the gunfighter’s eyes. It’s the kind of fight where you can’t be neutral.”

Duran played his part to the hilt, except that he wasn’t playing. He insulted Leonard from the get-go, and his constant disparagement of the Olympic poster boy had Leonard convinced that his best course of action would be to beat the mouthy Panamanian at his own game.

“He had that bully’s mentality,” Leonard said after he was handed his first loss as a pro. “He always tries to intimidate opponents. He challenged my manhood, and I wasn’t mature enough to know how to respond. All I could think about was retaliating.”

Despite facing Duran on the Panamanian’s terms, Leonard met fire with fire. He barely lost on points, coming up short by margins of 146-144, 148-147 and 145-144 on the judges’ scorecards. And it wasn’t long before he concluded that he would fare much better with a revised fight plan, particularly in light of the nonstop celebrating engaged in by Duran, who now saw himself as invincible, or at least something close to it. So Leonard and Trainer pressed for a quick rematch, offering Duran that $8 million, but only if he agreed to the November date.

“I knew Duran was overweight and partying big time,” Leonard said. “I’ve done some partying myself, but I knew when to cut it out. I said to Mike, `Let’s do it now, as soon as possible.’ In retrospect, it was pretty clever of me.’”

So, how does “No Mas” look now, 35 years down the road? Should Duran have insisted on more time to get his body back in peak condition, and if so, would the outcome have been different? Might it have been preferable to chase after Leonard, slowly being beaten down and then stopped?

Duran, in an interview with Nack three years after “No Mas,” continued to give Leonard something less than full credit for winning while absolving himself of at least some of the blame.

“Leonard knew I had nothing,” Duran said. “He was running and clowning because he knew I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t going to let myself get knocked out and look ridiculous in the ring.”

It is a mindset that is hardly unique to Duran. A two-time former heavyweight champion who had won a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a 165-pounder, Chris Byrd made a career of flummoxing larger heavyweights who would have preferred being pounded into submission by someone more like them than to be shown up by the flitting Byrd.

“It’s called `getting clowned,’” Byrd said before his Dec. 14, 2002, bout with Evander Holyfield for the vacant IBF heavyweight title, which Byrd won by unanimous decision. “Nobody wants to get clowned. They’d rather get knocked out than to get frustrated and embarrassed at the same time. But I’ve been doing that to people for a long time … since I was a kid. I pride myself on that. I kind of make guys look foolish, particularly heavyweights since they’re a lot slower.”

Which brings us back to the subject of fear in the ring, in all its various forms. There is the most obvious application, which is the fear of being beaten bloody, the kind that virtually paralyzed some of the opponents faced by such devastating punchers as Sonny Liston, George Foreman and Mike Tyson. And there is the more subtle form of apprehension and dismay, the kind perhaps displayed by Tyson – a fighter who, by the way, has always looked upon Duran as a role model – when he got himself disqualified in his rematch with Holyfield, by twice chomping on Evander’s ears, a form of submission as much as Duran turning his back on Leonard, at least in the opinion of noted boxing commentator and former Tyson trainer Teddy Atlas.

One of the more gentlemanly fighters ever to have achieved significant success, the late two-time former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson, was as far removed from Duran, both stylistically and personally, as anyone could be. But Patterson gave one of the most honest and insightful interviews ever to author Gay Talese in the March 1964 edition of Esquire magazine, in which Patterson spoke of the near-terror that gripped him before both of his clashes with Liston, who won each by first-round knockout.

“Oh, I would give up anything to just be able to work with Liston, to box with him somewhere where nobody would see us, and to see if I could get past three minutes with him,” Patterson told Talese. “I know I can do better. I’m not talking about a rematch. Who would pay a nickel for another Patterson-Liston fight? I know I wouldn’t. But all I want to do is get past the first round.

“It’s not a bad feeling when you’re knocked out,” Patterson said a bit further down in the article. “It’s a good feeling, actually. It’s not painful, just a sharp grogginess; you’re on a pleasant cloud. But then this good feeling leaves you. And what follows is a hurt, a confused hurt – not a physical hurt. It’s a hurt combined with anger; it’s a what-will-people-think hurt. All you want then is a hatch door in the middle of the ring, a hatch door that will open and let you fall through and land in your dressing room.”

For his first fight with Liston, Patterson – who had a sinking sensation he would lose in pretty much the manner that he did – brought a false beard, false mustache, hat and glasses to his dressing room so that he could slip away as quietly and anonymously as possible.

“You must wonder what makes a man do things like this,” Patterson told Talese. “Well, I wonder, too. And the answer is, I don’t know. But I think within me, within every human being, there is a certain weakness. It is a weakness that expresses itself more when you’re alone. And I have figured out that part of the reason I do the things I do is because … I am a coward. You see it when a fighter loses.”

So, Patterson was asked, could the menacing Liston be a coward as well?

“That remains to be seen,” he replied. “We’ll find out what he’s like after somebody beats him, how he takes it. It’s easy to do anything in victory. It’s in defeat that a man reveals himself.”

On Feb. 25, 1964, the big, ugly bear, Liston, got clowned big-time in his first meeting with Cassius Clay and quit on his stool after the sixth round, citing an injured shoulder which in retrospect appears as dubious an excuse as was to Roberto Duran’s stomach cramps.

The fights go on, and sometimes the hardest struggle is the one that a fighter wages within himself to tame the beast that gnaws at his insides when things aren’t going his way and the prospect for a turnaround are dimming fast. It calls to mind something written by Ernest Hemingway, not necessarily about boxing, although it very well might have been.

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places,” surmised Hemingway, who also noted that, “Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” It is a point of view that would seem to be the basis of extensive debate.

“Papa” did not weigh in on the conundrum of a fighter being clowned. You’d have to think it would have been the basis for a terrific novel, though.

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COMMENTS

-Brad :

Still can't figure out why Eleta put Duran back in the ring with Leonard 5 months after Montreal. Duran gave so much of himselfl in Montreal. Leonard would never have done the same thing. Can anyone see Leonard giving Tommy Hearns a shot 5 months after their first fight? Or Hagler another go off it a few months after their 1987? No chance. Duran certainly deserves blame and has more than paid for his crime, but I still think his management did him a great disservice by putting him back in so soon.


-Froggy :

Right on Brad, Duran was not in shape at all for that fight ! How long did Hearns have to wait for a rematch with Leonard ? How long did Duran have to wait for a rubber match with Leonard ? Years not months !


-Radam G :

Wow! That was a long piece. And I agree a fighter harbors a large amount of fear of something when he is pride fighting instead prizefighting. Besides fear is a good thing for a pug. No fear! You will get crushed like a bug. And my readermates -- Brad and Froggy -- Duran had too much machismo in his soul, body and mind. He cared more about kicking arse than making moolah. The super fight smart Sugar Ray Leonard cared more about money making and pride faking. So a double arse whuppin' from Duran or Hagler, he was never taking. Holla!


-Brad :

I've learned to have a greater appreciation for Sugar Ray over the years but I couldn't stand him back then. Part of the reason is because he seemed to celebrate the fact that he beat less versions of Duran and Hagler. He said "I knew Duran was overweight and partying...I said let's do it now..it was pretty clever of me." OK...but pardon me if I don't applaud you for it. To me Leonard's performance in Montreal deserves far more praise than what he did in New Orleans, where he essentially played the role of a rodeo clown-mocking a bull that he knew could not catch him. He also bragged about going to dinner with Hagler and after hearing Hagler complain about not having the desire to train anymore, cutting easily, feeling old,etc..he knew it was time and called him out on the Tonight Show a couple weeks later. I prefer Duran and Hagler to Leonard.


-Froggy :

Again Brad I have to agree ! I think the best Leonard ever looked was when he lost in Montreal !


-Radam G :

I've learned to have a greater appreciation for Sugar Ray over the years but I couldn't stand him back then. Part of the reason is because he seemed to celebrate the fact that he beat less versions of Duran and Hagler. He said "I knew Duran was overweight and partying...I said let's do it now..it was pretty clever of me." OK...but pardon me if I don't applaud you for it. To me Leonard's performance in Montreal deserves far more praise than what he did in New Orleans, where he essentially played the role of a rodeo clown-mocking a bull that he knew could not catch him. He also bragged about going to dinner with Hagler and after hearing Hagler complain about not having the desire to train anymore, cutting easily, feeling old,etc..he knew it was time and called him out on the Tonight Show a couple weeks later. I prefer Duran and Hagler to Leonard.
I ride with you when it come to be boksing legit. But for getting hurt less, and making more dough, the true best of pugs gotta be full of sh*t. Sugar Ray Leonard learnt that quite well from Sugar Ray Robinson, who was an uber super pound for pound all time great, and an even bigger bulljivers with dancing with pugs when they were on the down slide or couldn't handle his beat-an-arse tide. Holla!!


-Matthew :

Leonard was always clever and calculating, there is no denying that. He was also a master at psychological warfare, taking some cues from Muhammad Ali. But his performances in beating Duran in the rematch, and in the Hagler fight should not be denigrated. Duran has himself to blame for overeating and drinking himself silly in the months after Montreal. This was not the first (nor last) time Duran abused himself between fights. And Carlos Eleta, who stole money from Duran later on, didn't exactly protect Duran's best interests for agreeing to a quick rematch, but 8 million was a lot of money in 1980, and Duran felt shortchanged by his purse in the first fight. That's why the took the fight so quickly. One other thing to consider is the style factor. Leonard fought his fight in the rematch, which he did not do in Montreal. He beats Duran every time out if he boxes him. As for the Hagler fight, blame the Petronellis! They allowed themselves to be outmaneuvered at the negotiating table, then constructed an abysmal fight strategy for the first couple rounds. And give Leonard full credit for each of those wins: Duran was 72-1 going into the rematch and was the betting favorite; Hagler was still considered the best fighter in the world in 1987 and hadn't lost in over a decade. Those two wins highlight an all-time great resume.


-Brad :

Leonard was always clever and calculating, there is no denying that. He was also a master at psychological warfare, taking some cues from Muhammad Ali. But his performances in beating Duran in the rematch, and in the Hagler fight should not be denigrated. Duran has himself to blame for overeating and drinking himself silly in the months after Montreal. This was not the first (nor last) time Duran abused himself between fights. And Carlos Eleta, who stole money from Duran later on, didn't exactly protect Duran's best interests for agreeing to a quick rematch, but 8 million was a lot of money in 1980, and Duran felt shortchanged by his purse in the first fight. That's why the took the fight so quickly. One other thing to consider is the style factor. Leonard fought his fight in the rematch, which he did not do in Montreal. He beats Duran every time out if he boxes him. As for the Hagler fight, blame the Petronellis! They allowed themselves to be outmaneuvered at the negotiating table, then constructed an abysmal fight strategy for the first couple rounds. And give Leonard full credit for each of those wins: Duran was 72-1 going into the rematch and was the betting favorite; Hagler was still considered the best fighter in the world in 1987 and hadn't lost in over a decade. Those two wins highlight an all-time great resume.
I don't buy that Leonard "didn't fight his fight" in Montreal. What I saw was Duran not letting him fight anything other than Duran's fight. It's like Trevor Berbick saying "I lost to Tyson because I didn't fight my fight"...no kidding. It's because he didn't allow you to!!! You had no say in the matter!!! Duran was relentless. As Freddie Brown said, "Boxing ain't football. Everyone doesn't get a chance to have the ball.When Duran's on he doesn't let you have the ball." In Montreal, Duran didn't let Sugar Ray have the ball. Leonard later came up with this lame excuse that Duran insulted his wife so he scrapped his strategy to defend her honor and tried to KO him...that's weaker than Duran stomach cramps excuse.


-Froggy :

I don't buy that Leonard "didn't fight his fight" in Montreal. What I saw was Duran not letting him fight anything other than Duran's fight. It's like Trevor Berbick saying "I lost to Tyson because I didn't fight my fight"...no kidding. It's because he didn't allow you to!!! You had no say in the matter!!! Duran was relentless. As Freddie Brown said, "Boxing ain't football. Everyone doesn't get a chance to have the ball.When Duran's on he doesn't let you have the ball." In Montreal, Duran didn't let Sugar Ray have the ball. Leonard later came up with this lame excuse that Duran insulted his wife so he scrapped his strategy to defend her honor and tried to KO him...that's weaker than Duran stomach cramps excuse.
Check out Springs Toledo's book Gods of War, both Leonard and Dundee admidted after the fight they had no choice but to fight Duran's fight, it was later when they came up with other excuses !


-kidcanvas :

that wasnt fear , that was white light anger and hatred ... roberto duran surely didnt fear ray ,he cleaned his clock the 1rst time.. thats rubbish, Fear from duran ,,hahahaha


-michigan400 :

""It?s easy to do anything in victory. It?s in defeat that a man reveals himself.?" Amen! Everybody gets a taste of defeat at some point and that's when you find out what your really made of. Great quote by FP!! Love it!


-stormcentre :

Every professional fighter has fear; yes that's true. Duran was a formidable opponent and legendary fighter. He did beat Sugar Ray Leonard the first time when Leonard fought Duran's machismo oriented fight. But in their second fight, when things didn't quite go Roberto's way and whilst Leonard used his skills more than machismo; I believe Duran grew frustrated and then concerned about how the fight might embarrassingly end up for him. The fact that, in their second bout (and unlike the first) Duran simply couldn't adapt and/or get traction with anything significant and that combined with the fact that Leonard was almost in complete control didn't help things for Duran either. Every professional fighter has fear of being publicly humiliated, beaten and/or KO'd. Some fighters accept/embrace the fear and use it as motivation, others are powerless to stop it controlling them. In my opinion - and I have watched that fight easily 20 times - I believe that Duran knew that - after his first fight with Leonard and with all the in/out of ring theatrics Duran was capable of back then - if he continued with Leonard in their second fight past the "No Mas" point he would very likely end up being extremely soundly beaten and the laughing stock of both boxing and its media outlets for some time; in perhaps a hypocritically symbolic manner. Remember, prior to the "No Mas" point in their second fight, Duran was (already shocked at the fact that he was) getting quite schooled by a guy that he had previously beaten with such reasonable conviction that most fighters could be forgiven for thinking that any rematch's outcomes was merely a formality. But, sometime prior to the "No Mas" point within their second fight Duran came to the stark realisation not only that their rematch's outcome was not merely a formality - but that he had also miscalculated matters on a grand and very public scale. At that point Duran realised;

A) He could only fight one way; whereas Leonard two or more. B) If he made it to round 12 he was going to be so soundly and embarrassingly beaten that their first fight and Duran's victory within it would most likely be considered the result of nothing other than Leonard's stylistic miscalculations on that night. C) Like every professional fighter, he too had a fear of being publicly humiliated, beaten and/or KO'd; and that fear was greater than that associated with quitting.


Storm. :) :) :)


-Brad :

In my opinion, its one of boxings great myths that Leonard didn't "use his skills" rather his "machismo" in Montreal. He used "all" of his skills in Montreal. His "skills" were the only reason he didn't killed. Holding on for your life is hardly "machismo." The difference between Montreal and New Orleans isn't Leonard. Or even the style which Leonard fought (although I realize it was different).The "real"difference is Duran. The Montreal Duran beats the New Orleans Leonard. The Montreal Leonard beats the New Orleans Duran. In both fights Leonard was prepared and highly motivated. He's facing his greatest test in Montreal and was trying to get title back in New Orleans. Duran was extremely motivated in Montreal. He hated Leonard. Leonard earned 10 million to Duran 1 million. Like Ali, Leonard was overshadowing Duran's greatness. Duran had to win. Not so much in New Orleans. He caught his white whale. He beat finally got the attention and respect he felt he deserved. He was satisfied, no longer hungry. Watch the ABC version on youtube. It was recorded 4 weeks after the Brawl in Montreal. Duran's in studio and you can tells he gained an easy 30 pounds. He kept celebrating. Leonard knew his best chance to win wasn't necessarily a style change rather it was to get a lesser version of the guy he got in Montreal. As a matter of fact he says as much. Get a fat, satisfied Duran to sign right away.That's the guy that Kirkland Laing beat, then a year than a few months later Davey Moore get a hungry motivated Duran a gets his as8 kicked.


-Art :

I've seen the documentary and SRL admits he "tricked" Duran into taking the fight before he was ready. Actually, his handlers and Don King, made sure he took the fight before he was ready, on SRL's behalf. Also, why didn't he ever give Duran an immediate rematch, as Duran did? Duran had a ritual and SRL knew it well. Duran would get completely out of shape and then slowly work himself into fighting shape. Duran would get back in the gym and then take a non-title fight before defending his championship. That was well publicized back then. Those of us, that were around and followed boxing back then, knew it as well. SRL didn't give him that opportunity. For the record, Duran was the only man to beat SRL in his prime and when he was a champion. I have respect for both men and I admire them both, but in my book, Duran was better than SRL and it was SRL who was the one afraid of Duran. All his actions tell you that.


-Radam G :

As I've said, fear is good and brings the fire and desire. And without the fear, one should retire. Holla!


-stormcentre :

In my opinion, its one of boxings great myths that Leonard didn't "use his skills" rather his "machismo" in Montreal. He used "all" of his skills in Montreal. His "skills" were the only reason he didn't killed. Holding on for your life is hardly "machismo." The difference between Montreal and New Orleans isn't Leonard. Or even the style which Leonard fought (although I realize it was different).The "real"difference is Duran. The Montreal Duran beats the New Orleans Leonard. The Montreal Leonard beats the New Orleans Duran. In both fights Leonard was prepared and highly motivated. He's facing his greatest test in Montreal and was trying to get title back in New Orleans. Duran was extremely motivated in Montreal. He hated Leonard. Leonard earned 10 million to Duran 1 million. Like Ali, Leonard was overshadowing Duran's greatness. Duran had to win. Not so much in New Orleans. He caught his white whale. He beat finally got the attention and respect he felt he deserved. He was satisfied, no longer hungry. Watch the ABC version on youtube. It was recorded 4 weeks after the Brawl in Montreal. Duran's in studio and you can tells he gained an easy 30 pounds. He kept celebrating. Leonard knew his best chance to win wasn't necessarily a style change rather it was to get a lesser version of the guy he got in Montreal. As a matter of fact he says as much. Get a fat, satisfied Duran to sign right away.That's the guy that Kirkland Laing beat, then a year than a few months later Davey Moore get a hungry motivated Duran a gets his as8 kicked.
I wasn't aware that there was a myth that Leonard didn't "use any skills" rather his "machismo" in their first fight. Of course that doesn't mean the "myth" didn't exist. Is that really the case, was there such a "myth"? I do know Leonard's corner themselves did state (after the 1st fight and also in the pressers before the 2nd fight) that they though Leonard adopted the wrong style for his first fight with Duran, and didn't box enough. :) :)


-Brad :

I wasn't aware that there was a myth that Leonard didn't "use any skills" rather his "machismo" in their first fight. Of course that doesn't mean the "myth" didn't exist. Is that really the case, was there such a "myth"? I do know Leonard's corner themselves did state (after the 1st fight and also in the pressers before the 2nd fight) that they though Leonard adopted the wrong style for his first fight with Duran, and didn't box enough. :) :)
Yes. There is a "myth" about that fight and Leonard started it, the media bought it and continues it to this day. He claims Duran insulted him and his wife a couple days before the fight, he was so mad, the myth goes, that he ditched his "boxing" strategy to instead try to take Duran's head off. That's how angry Sugar Ray was.....Sugar Ray was seeing red so much so that nothing mattered to him but KO'ing Duran.That's a nice story for a movie, but he was a champion boxer. It's bs. What really happened in Montreal was Duran didn't give Leonard an option on fighting style. Duran determined that from almost the first second of the fight. After he hurt Leonard in round 2 and again in 3 and again in the 4th, the die had been cast. Duran's skills and will were greater than Leonard's that night. He cut off the ring brilliantly, used head feints, controlled distance, worked the body, timed Leonard, and proved very, very hard to hit.Leonard missed all night.Duran was an artist that night. And his camp should have known that 5 months wasn't enough time for him to celebrate that great win and get motivated enough for a rematch.


-stormcentre :

Oh OK. Thanks for that Brad. I knew about the ""Duran insulting Leonard's wife thing"", but I had never heard that that was the sole reason why Leonard didn't box more in their first fight. I knew (or heard) that Dundee was really annoyed that Leonard didn't box more in in their first fight. I thought Leonard (in their first fight) still used his skills, even though he seemed to get caught up in and fought Duran's fight; more than when they met in their second fight. But as you say/infer, perhaps people reflect too much on their second fight when considering aspects of their first fight; diminishing Duran's accountability for the win/performance. :) :)


-Radam G :

Yes. There is a "myth" about that fight and Leonard started it, the media bought it and continues it to this day. He claims Duran insulted him and his wife a couple days before the fight, he was so mad, the myth goes, that he ditched his "boxing" strategy to instead try to take Duran's head off. That's how angry Sugar Ray was.....Sugar Ray was seeing red so much so that nothing mattered to him but KO'ing Duran.That's a nice story for a movie, but he was a champion boxer. It's bs. What really happened in Montreal was Duran didn't give Leonard an option on fighting style. Duran determined that from almost the first second of the fight. After he hurt Leonard in round 2 and again in 3 and again in the 4th, the die had been cast. Duran's skills and will were greater than Leonard's that night. He cut off the ring brilliantly, used head feints, controlled distance, worked the body, timed Leonard, and proved very, very hard to hit.Leonard missed all night.Duran was an artist that night. And his camp should have known that 5 months wasn't enough time for him to celebrate that great win and get motivated enough for a rematch.
Wow! Talking about myths. Just wait until the "Commish" Randy G's book "Glove Affair" comes out. It has testimony and beliefs that Panama Lewis tampered with Duran's gloves. And took out the horse hair. Thus giving Duran that wrecking, double "Hands of Stone" power to neutralize and bytchify [sic] SRL. Where in the turkey trimming day are ya, Commish? Holla!


-Brad :

Wow! Talking about myths. Just wait until the "Commish" Randy G's book "Glove Affair" comes out. It has testimony and beliefs that Panama Lewis tampered with Duran's gloves. And took out the horse hair. Thus giving Duran that wrecking, double "Hands of Stone" power to neutralize and bytchify [sic] SRL. Where in the turkey trimming day are ya, Commish? Holla!
Lewis had little to do with Duran's team. Duran's team main character's were Ray Arcel and Freddie Brown. Two of the most reputable people in boxing history. You may be thinking of Luis Resto who had Panama Lewis as his trainer and doctored his gloves vs Billy Collins on a Roberto Duran card (Davey Moore).


-Radam G :

Lewis had little to do with Duran's team. Duran's team main character's were Ray Arcel and Freddie Brown. Two of the most reputable people in boxing history. You may be thinking of Luis Resto who had Panama Lewis as his trainer and doctored his gloves vs Billy Collins on a Roberto Duran card (Davey Moore).
NOPE! IMHO Panama Lewis was a scapegoat in that assault in the Big Apple back in da day. Of course, the Commish doesn't agree with me. But YES, INDEEDY, Panama Lewis has also been accused of tampering with Duran's gloves during his scraps with Leonard in Montreal and with the late, great developing Davey Moore. Also PL has been accused of tampering with Aaron "Hawk Time" Pryor's gloves before Aaron beat up the late, great Alex Arguello. You will be surprised of how a trainer or an assistant can hide in plain sight in diz game. PL was always a hiding-in-plain-sight character on Team Duran. He and "Fists of Stone" were boys together long before the arrival of the great, late trainers Arcel and Brown. Just wait until the book of the Commish's hit and causes an earthquake! Whaddup wif it, Commish? Are you going to make us wait forever and a lifetime. I know that you have been cranking. And arses, it is time for "Gloves Affair" to get to spanking. And light on another darkness of da game, you we will get to thanking. The covers over so many eyes, we can appreciate cha for yanking. Holla!